Mercenary (band)

Mercenary (band)

The band Mercenary performing at a concert
Background information
Origin Aalborg, Denmark
Genres Melodic death metal
Power metal
Thrash metal
Progressive metal
Years active 1991–present
Labels Black Day Records
Serious Entertainment
Hammerheart Records
Century Media
Associated acts Amaranthe, Hatesphere, Panzerchrist, Pretty Maids
Jakob Mølbjerg
Martin Buus
René Pedersen
Morten Løwe
Past members
Hans Jørgen Andersen
Henrik "Kral" Andersen
Nikolaj Brinkman
Andreas W. Hansen
Jakob Johnsen
Mike Park
Signar Petersen
Mikkel Sandager
Morten Sandager

Mercenary is a metal band from Denmark that was formed in 1991. Although they are usually labelled as a melodic death metal band,[1] they use aspects of power metal in their music, as well as thrash metal in their earlier work.



Mercenary formed in Aalborg, Denmark in 1991 as the brainchild of Henrik "Kral" Andersen. The band name was taken from a lyric in the Slayer song, "Ghosts of War". After the release of two demos, Domicile (1993) and Gummizild (1994), they were able to sign with Black Day Records, and released a four-song EP, Supremacy (1996). In 1997, they were signed to the Danish label Serious Entertainment, and in 1998 they released their full-length debut, First Breath.

In 2002, the band decided to expand their sound with the addition of pianist Morten Sandager, who greatly contributed with his keyboard as well as his brother Mikkel, who helped expand their songs with vocals into their songs. This new line-up added new dimensions to their sound, blending more melody into their more aggressive heaviness.

That year, Mercenary played at the ProgPower music festival in the United States and released their second album Everblack. It was after this that the band fired drummer Rasmus Jacobsen, thinking he invested too little time into Mercenary and too much into other projects. During this time, guitarist Signar Petersen also left the band, due to personal reasons. Two old friends of Kral’s (drummer Mike Park Nielson, whom he had met in 1993 at a concert in Copenhagen, and Martin Buus Pedersen, whom Kral knew since he was seventeen years old and working in a music store, when Martin was testing a guitar) would soon fill in the two spots, and with this new lineup, Mercenary were signed to Century Media Records.

In 2004, Mercenary released their third full-length album, 11 Dreams. This proved to be their most commercially successful album, earning much international attention from fans and critics alike. That year, Mercenary toured as a supporting act for Evergrey, and then later with Brainstorm who were on their first headlining tour in Europe. They also played on the 16th Wacken Open Air in 2005, and supported Nevermore on a European tour later that year.

It was at the end of March 2006 that the band announced that Kral left the band. Mikkel Sandager said in a recent interview that Kral’s departure was due to “being away from his family and...trying to make it with the band for 15 years. I think that he simply got tired of trying and trying."

The band went about writing and recording their fourth full-length as a five-piece, with Mikkel Sandager performing all vocals, and the album’s producer Jacob Hansen handling bass duties. On April 7, 2006 the band finished the recording at Jacob Hansens Studios. Shortly after this, the band managed to snag bassist/vocalist René Pedersen to fill in the void left by Kral.

At the May 19-20th Saegfestival (held in Greding, Germany), Mercenary had their first live performance with René. It was at this show that they played Soul Decision, a song from their upcoming fourth album. On August 1, 2006, Mercenary released a compilation of their early demos, titled Retrospective, and on August 22, their new album, The Hours that Remain, was released.

In September 2006 Mercenary joined numerous other bands such as Evergrey, Epica, and Jørn Lande in the ProgPower USA festival. It was there that they covered Pantera's Cowboys from Hell at the request of the show's promoter.

On October 21, 2007 they announced a follow up album to The Hours that Remain was being recorded and produced. On December 12, 2007 the band announced on their myspace page that the new album is complete. Eight days later, the band announced the title of the new album to be Architect of Lies. It was released on March 25, 2008.[2]

November 11, 2009, it was announced that Mikkel, Morten, and Mike had left the band. According to Jakob in a press statement: "we no longer share the same vision and enthusiasm about the direction and the future of the band".[3]

On November 23, 2009, the band announced via Facebook, that a new complete lineup had been established.[4]

On December 23, 2010, the band released a song off of their upcoming album, Metamorphosis.[5]

Band members

Role Album
First Breath Everblack 11 Dreams The Hours That Remain Architect of Lies Metamorphosis
Lead Guitar Nikolaj Brinkman Signar Petersen Martin Buus
Rhythm Guitar Jakob Mølbjerg
Bass and Growls Henrik "Kral" Andersen Jacob Hansen* René Pedersen
Vocals (Clean/Harsh) - Mikkel Sandager René Pedersen
Keyboard - Morten Sandager Martin Buus
Drums Rasmus Jacobsen Mike Park Nielsen Morten Løwe

*Jacob Hansen is not a member of Mercenary, he is the producer for all 5 albums and filled in as bassist for the recording of The Hours that Remain. He provided no vocals for the album.


  • Martin Buus
    • Lead guitar (since 2002)
    • Keyboards (since 2009)
    • Backing Vocals (since 2009)
  • Jakob Mølbjerg
    • Rhythm guitar (since 1995)
  • René Pedersen
    • Bass guitar (since 2006)
    • Growls (since 2006)
    • Lead vocals (since 2009)
  • Morten Løwe
    • Drums (since 2009)


  • Nikolaj Brinkman (lead guitar 1993-2000)
  • Signar Petersen (lead guitar 2000-2002) (Behind The Curtain, Transparent)
  • Hans Jørgen Andersen (rhythm guitar 1991-1993)
  • Henrik "Kral" Andersen (bass 1993-2006, also Harsh Vocals 1991-2006, Lead Guitar 1991-1993) (Geronimo)
  • Andreas W. Hansen (bass 1991-1993)
  • Jakob Johnsen (drums 1991-1993)
  • Rasmus Jacobsen (Illnath) (drums 1992-2002)
  • Mike Park Nielsen (drums 2002-2009)
  • Morten Sandager (keyboard 2002-2009)
  • Mikkel Sandager (vocals 2002-2009)


Studio albums


  • Supremacy (1996)


  • Mercenary (2006)


  • Domicile (1993)
  • Gummizild (1994)


Their official homepage's media section has the videos available for download [1]


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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